Yes, You Can Put Raw Onions in Your Salad. But Do This First!

Yes, You Can Put Raw Onions in Your Salad. But Do This First!

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Christine Gallary
Jul 28, 2015
(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

I cringe whenever I order a salad and it arrives with a pile of raw, crunchy onions. As much as I love their spicy bite, sometimes it's just way too intense — plus I feel like I have dragon's breath for the rest of the day.

There's an easy way to deal with this, though — one that doesn't really require any extra effort on your part!

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

The Secret Weapon: Salad Dressing

Some people tame the bite of spicy onions by soaking the onions in cold water or acid beforehand, but I've found an even easier way. When I'm using raw onions or shallots in a salad, I soak them in salad dressing for 10 to 15 minutes first.

Soaking onions in the dressing works in two ways: the spicy bite is tamed, and the dressing is now nicely and gently flavored with onion. It's a win-win.

If I'm making salad dressing from scratch, I make it first, then cut and soak the onions. While they're soaking, I prep the rest of the ingredients for my salad. By the time the onions are ready, so is the rest of the salad. While acidic dressings like vinaigrettes work best, most any other dressing works too. Give it a try the next time you're using onions in salad!

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